Emily’s Vitiligo- the final chapter
What have we concluded from all of this? In a nutshell I believe that following Dr. Montes advice with the possible addition of a natural psoralen (St. Johns Wort in our case) along with a 1/2 hour in the sun or some time in a tanning booth (start slowly) will correct this condition. Vitiligo won’t disappear overnight, just as many of the problems that caused it have been developing over a long period of time.
Our shift to a pure vegetarian lifestyle raised our intake of the vitamins Dr. Montes recommends. It also supported our bodies in eliminating toxins, by not having to deal with a lot of unneeded nutrients (as if cholesterol is a nutrient). I believe it also eliminated potential triggers of vitiligo; animal protein, sulfa-based antibiotics, pesticides.
Follow common sense rules for healthy living, no-saturated fats, increase raw fruits and veggies, no-cholesterol, get outside in the sun and fresh air every day (not mid-day sun), exercise and see a therapist or share your feelings openly with your close friends. Keep it simple; just remember how healthy a carrot can be for your skin. You don’t necessarily have to know that it contains carotenes, calcium, fluoride, iodine, manganese, silicone, sodium, sulfur, panothenic acid (vitamin B-6), calciferol (vitamin D), tocopherol (vitamin E), phylloquinone (vitamin K), catalase, psoralen, just know that veggies are good for healthy skin.
When you finally solve a jigsaw puzzle it gives you a great sense of closure. We don’t quite have that with our vitiligo. I hope one day to say that we do. I remember as a child hiding a piece of the puzzle in my pocket. I would help my Mom solve the puzzle, at the end I could stick in the final piece. It isn’t so important now to put in the last piece. The enjoyment has come from working the puzzle, the journey rather than the destination. We are, as a family, living healthier more compassionate lives. The beauty of it all comes into focus in that as a side benefit, Emily is visibly getting better. It is a yardstick of our choices. Vitiligo has not only started us on our path, it has measured our progress.
Addison’s Disease – I don’t know much about Addison’s Disease other than the indications of it are that your forehead gets dark black pigmented spots. The American Academy of Dermatology defines it as, decreased adrenal gland function.
BID – means “twice daily”.
Diabetes – characterized by excess sugar in the blood and urine.
Guttate Hypomelanosis – Small white porcelain spots on the skin, said to be caused by sun damage.
Melagenina – An extract made from the discarded human placenta after childbirth. The product is applied to the skin and the patient is then exposed to 15 minutes of infrared light. We decided against it because of concern over blood born disease. Another reason was the product is unavailable in the US.
Pernicious Anemia – Low levels of vitamin B12 indicate pernicious anemia.
Phytophotodermatitis – denotes the reaction to sunlight of skin, which has been in contact with certain species of plants.
Psoralen – causes the skin to react when exposed to the sun. See the table of plants that contain psoralen above.
PUVA – Psoralen Ultra-Violet A, this is the treatment of choice by the dermatologists I talked to. What stopped us from using it, was first the dermatologists felt Emily was to young and the Physicians’ Desk Reference listed some unacceptable side effects.
QD – means “daily”.
Straight Edge – A vegan that does not use drugs.
Thyroid – A gland in your neck that regulates your temperature. A high or low temperature level will affect your growth. The thyroid gland needs iodine to function properly. A good source of iodine is kelp, tablets of kelp can be found at your local health food store.
Vegan – pure vegetarian.
Vegetarian – Eats no flesh. There are varying forms of vegetarians.
Vitiligo – That’s where your skin develops milk-white patches that are completely devoid of pigment.